School name: Wolverhampton Grammar School
What was your main aim/objective for this trip?
Why did you choose this destination?
Having organised a successful trip the previous year with Halsbury to India, I was keen on offering our students the opportunity of another long-haul trip to a different country.
I eventually chose China because of the variety of options for sightseeing and excursions and the rich history that I thought would interest our students.
Can you briefly describe the visits and activities you participated in during this trip?
In Beijing we visited the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall and the Beijing Hutongs, took part in a calligraphy lesson and a martial arts lesson and visited the Beijing Opera.
In Xi’an we visited the City Wall and Big Goose Pagoda, as well as what was the highlight of the trip for me – the Terracotta Warriors.
And in Shanghai we went up the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, took an evening cruise along the Bund, visited the beautiful Zhujiajiao Water Village and spent a few hours in the History Museum.
There was also plenty of chance to do a little bartering in the markets in each city – though a food market visit resulted in a few exclamations from the students about the produce on sale!
A fabulous tour in 10 days with the added dimension of overnight train travel between cities.
Why did you choose these visits and activities?
The majority of the tour options were offered directly by Halsbury and covered the major highlights in each city.
We were able to add some extra visits and also a few extras in-country directly with the guides, e.g. the visit to a food market and to Tiananmen Square.
The number of visits and activities were ideal to fill full days for the students without leaving too much downtime.
Did you fulfil your aims and objectives?
This certainly fulfilled the aims and objectives of the trip and was particularly enhanced through the knowledge imparted by the in-country agents throughout the trip.
What benefits did the students get from the trip?
The students benefited greatly from the chance to visit some of the most amazing historical sights in the world.
They were able to experience life in a communist country and understand a little bit about how the Cultural Revolution has affected China and its people.
They were able to better understand the massive economic and infrastructure development that China is undergoing too.
They also developed the confidence to travel by public transport in a foreign country, learnt a little Mandarin and realised that real Chinese food is not the same as in the local takeaways!
What will be your lasting memories of this trip?
Some of my lasting memories of this trip will include the amazing sight of the Terracotta Warriors and the stunning visit to the Great Wall, where we could see its immense size and the beauty of the countryside.
I’ll remember feeling the sense of community of people gathering in the parks to exercise everyday together, the students’ faces as they sampled some of the more unusual culinary delights and the fabulous in-country guides, as well as the fun of bartering for souvenirs in the markets.
Why did you choose Halsbury for this trip?
Having used Halsbury for a previous trip to India, I had been impressed by their ability to deliver an exciting overseas trip at a price that was affordable with excellent in-country guides and a reliable Safety Management System.
Halsbury were also able to offer an all-inclusive trip which makes it a lot easier to manage as a leader.
How would you describe the experience of working with Halsbury on this trip?
Excellent - extremely helpful in offering various options and quotations and very accommodating of last-minute changes requested by the school. Their choice of in-country agents has also been superb.
Would you recommend Halsbury to your friends and colleagues?